MANILA, Philippines -- Cignal played like a well-oiled machine, disposing Foton, 25-23, 21-25, 25-14, 25-21, to cop its third straight win in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Rachel Anne Daquis paced the HD Spikers, scoring 18 points on top of 25 digs, while Mylene Paat contributed 17 markers. Setter Alohi Robins-Hardy submitted 15 markers of top of 24 of the HD Spikers’ 26 excellent receptions in the match that took two hours and five minutes to finish.
The HD Spikers improved to 6-5, tying idle Generika-Ayala at the fourth spot of the league standings.
"The third set was a big factor for us. They gained confidence, and I saw that they really wanted to win," said Cignal coach Edgar Barroga, whose team used a big third set to build momentum.
From a 4-4 contest in the third set, the HD Spikers went with an 11-2 run to put up a commanding, 15-6, and Daquis took over with her own 3-0 spurt to widen the gap, 21-9, en route to reach set point, 24-10.
Foton, however, refused to surrender and saved four set points, 14-24, before Daquis ended the Tornadoes’ agony.
Alohi, who was converted to opposite spiker late in the match, put on a show as Cignal broke loose from a 19-19 contest to give the HD Spikers a 22-19 breather, while Daquis did the finishing touches for her team.
"It was part of our game plan to give Alohi the chance to spike because she really wanted to help the team and we gave her a chance today," said Barroga.
Jaja Santiago had a game-high 25 points for Foton, while skipper Mina Aganon had 11 markers and Dindin Santiago-Manabat added 10.
It was an even contest in spikes (52-52) but the Tornadoes only had four blocks against 12 of the HD Spikers.
Foton, which came from a loss to F2 Logistics, slid to 7-5.
Cignal will face Generika-Ayala on Saturday to break their tie entering the crucial stretch of the tournament.
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